During my Memorial Weekend getaway to Nassau, Bahamas, I did a 3-hour bike tour on a cruiser. The tour did not include the touristy area but rather the western end of Nassau near Junkanoo Beach.

Coconutwater Cruisers limits the tour to only 5 people which is perfect.  An intimate ride with 4 of your closest friends which was only two for this adventure. 🙂 The only hard part is to remember how to ride the old fashioned bike.  You know where the brakes are in the pedals.

The first stop was Ardastra Garden and Zoo.  Did you know that Nassau has a zoo?  I had no clue!  It is the only zoo in the Bahamas.  Of course, when I think of Nassau, I think of beaches, conch salad and rum concoction.  Never a zoo or a conservation centre.  Also, I found out that the hotel where I was staying was less than a mile from the zoo.  The irony!

Ardastra Garden, Zoo, and Conservation Centre

As it is described on their website:

“In the heart of Nassau, more than four acres of lush tropical gardens are inhabited by a variety of animal species, including the national bird of the Bahamas, the Caribbean flamingo. The site of Ardastra Gardens, Zoo and Conservation Centre was originally designed by Jamaican horticulturalist Hedley Edwards in 1937.  He named the gardens Ardastra, from the latin words ardua ad astra, meaning “striving towards the stars” because he felt that it depicted a ‘utopia of peace, beauty and tranquillity’.  He developed the picturesque and exotic gardens as a nature preserve, later bringing in the endangered Caribbean flamingo from the island of Inagua in the 1950’s, developing what was to become a highly successful breeding programme.  Over time, the birds were trained to perform for visitors and Ardastra became their permanent home.  In 1980, the gardens were purchased by Norman Solomon, whose passion for wildlife and conservation education inspired him to incorporate more animals into the gardens and create a boutique zoo. “

This parrot was at the entrance and every time I approached, he gave lip service lol

Have you ever seen a black swan? Beautiful and very majestic!

Another beauty — the white peacock.  Have seen one before?

The Caribbean Flamingo which is the Bahamas National Bird.

I actually got real close to the Flamingo but I was hesitant because I didn’t know if they would attack.

Don’t ask — They told me to be one with the marching flamingos.  I think I was preparing for a role in Karate Kid.

Another parrot which I wanted to touch.  You see the look he gave me.

Fort Charlotte

Fort Charlotte is a

“British-colonial era fort built on a hill over-looking the harbor.  The fort was constructed in the late 18th century after the end of the American Revolutionary war. The fort has never been used in battle. It is one of several English forts that are still standing in Nassau. These forts were used as battle stations, to attack the invading Spaniards.”

The Well

Great view of the port and harbour.

During my travels, I enjoy the “touristy” things; however, it is always great to find something different so the experience can be memorable and extremely enjoyable.  Boy, did I enjoy the bike ride and I even got a tan.

If you have a chance to visit the Nassau, make sure to check out the Zoo and Fort Charlotte.   As the saying goes “It is better in the Bahamas”